The Holy Monastery of Chilandari is a Serbian monastery located on the northeast side of Mount Athos. It was founded by Saint Sava of Serbia in 1198 and is the spiritual center of the Serbian people. It has the appearance of a medieval castle, as it is fortified with walls that are 30 meters high and 140 meters long, due to the frequent pirate raids in the past.
The history of the Monastery begins in the 10th century. After its desolation, the monastery was ceded to the Serbian rulers Stefanos Nemanja and his son Rastko by the emperor Alexios III in 1198. The two became monks, were baptized Symeon and Savvas, and proceeded to rebuild new buildings. The Monastery from the 14th century onwards experienced tremendous prosperity and amassed great wealth and heirlooms from donations from individuals and emperors.
Its Katholikon is honored in the memory of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The monastery has many chapels, the Bank, the Library, and the wings with the cells of the monks, but also guesthouses. It maintains an extremely rich collection of old manuscripts, icons, and murals so that today it is considered one of the most important treasures of Serbian medieval culture in general. The collection includes pieces from the crown of thorns, the reed and the shroud of Christ, and the icon of the Virgin "Tricherousa". The library has 181 Greek and Slavic codes and more than 20,000 books.